For every Colombian Pablo Escobar, theres a Colombian Gabriel García Márquez (ahem, hes a Nobel Prize-winning novelist). But despite enjoying one of South Americas most sophisticated and rich cultures, Colombians often get short shrift in the eyes of Americans, even in Miami, for their connection to the drug trade. Its myopic and silly, and would be like branding all Cubans communists because of Fidel Castro. Next time you find your mind wandering to Colombian stereotypes, think cumbia grooves instead of coca leaves. And if you need more help, show up at the 23rd annual Colombian Independence Day Festival at the Fair Expo Center this Sunday. Billed as the largest Hispanic independence day festival in Miami, the party has a long history of presenting the best that Colombia has to offer in music, the arts, and food. And because Colombian brothers and sisters arent bitter, theyre inviting everyone to partake of arepas and aguardiente. The real stars of the show will be A-list performers including Binomio de Oro, Grupo Niche, Pipe Calderon, Silvestre Dangond, and Jorge Onate. Therell also be a smattering of other Latin American musicians such as Fuego y Omega (from the Dominican Republic) and Luis Felipe González (Venezuela). It doesnt matter if your tastes are salsa, reggaeton, merengue, vallenato, or hip-hop, youll get your fix.
Sun., July 17, 1 p.m., 2011